What is a Divorce Coach? 3 Questions to Ask when You Are Deciding if a Divorce Coach is Right for You

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Navigating a complicated divorce on your own is nearly impossible, but regularly seeking the advice of a trusted attorney can become quite expensive. For those who need an objective opinion and guidance, is there another expert that you can refer to for more trivial matters?

Many couples are discovering that a divorce coach is a very cost-effective, useful person to add to their team of professionals when attempting to tie up all of the loose ends associated with their marriage. While not a substitute for legal counsel, a divorce coach can provide professional advice, opinions, and guidance.

So what exactly is a divorce coach? Before you hire one, you will want to see the answers to these three questions:

 

What Is a Divorce Coach?

Typically, a divorce coach is not an attorney, although some professionals will advertise themselves as both. Coaching services are designed to offer individuals personal support and guidance for managing the divorce process, separate from the legal aspect.

For those who believe they may need a therapeutic setting, it should be noted that a divorce coach is not the same as maintaining a relationship with a licensed therapist. However, it can assist you in processing some of the emotions associated with dissolving your marriage.

For example, a divorce coach can help you make the best decisions for your future, based on the facts presented to both of you. Unlike soliciting advice from close friends and family (who are often biased and opinionated), a divorce coach can serve as a trusted third party. By being several steps removed from the emotional and relational aspect of the split, they are more likely to remain neutral and objective.

Furthermore, a divorce coach can educate you about obtaining a divorce at a significantly lower rate than an attorney. Depending on the unique training, skill set, and experience that divorce coaches possess, they may even be able to assist you in organizing your paperwork to file for divorce. Many trained coaches specialize in helping you set goals for yourself and your divorce, and they may even be able to help you gain a better grip on your new financial situation.

 

Why Hire a Divorce Coach?

Assembling the proper team of professionals is critical to success in divorce, which ultimately makes it the key to also establishing a firm financial future for yourself. Unfortunately, hiring the most qualified professionals can come at a relatively high cost. Consider the fact that an attorney will charge per phone call, per minute, and per meeting. By the end of your divorce, those extra questions and phone calls can really add up to an exorbitant bill.

A divorce coach offers a unique service by providing objective advice for your future—without the high price tag of an attorney.

They typically charge less per minute or per meeting, and hiring a divorce coach can help lower your attorney’s fees. Because they can help you make decisions and work out responses to emotional scenarios in advance, they can reduce the amount of time spent with your attorney. Your divorce coach can also usually answer basic questions regarding the divorce process, which prevents you from making unnecessary, costly phone calls to your divorce attorney.

Particularly when negotiating a settlement with your spouse, divorce coaches can offer unbiased opinions, which are separate from the legal process (instead of basing recommendations on the ease of negotiations). They can give you space to consider the emotional aspects and ramifications of decisions, even though they are not therapists.

 

What Benefits Come with a Divorce Coach?

Beyond the cost savings associated with hiring a divorce coach, there are many other positive reasons to consider finding a professional coach in your area. For many individuals, working with a divorce coach puts them in a position of power.

This decision grants you the feeling of control over the situation at hand, even though a professional is still guiding you through each step of the process. Setting goals and working through your emotions in the midst of your divorce can help you gain a better grip on the psychological toll that divorce can often take.

A good, well-qualified divorce coach can also give you some insight into planning for the future. Many coaches are qualified to help you look at your financial information and begin planning for a new income and lifestyle after you are single. If you take this step early in the process, you will be more prepared for bills, savings, and all of the other critical financial decisions that you will face over the coming months as you re-establish your own household.

 

Finding the Right Divorce Coach

Hiring a divorce coach may seem like a simple way to make muddling through the divorce process simpler, healthier, and more cost-effective. While separate from a relationship with a divorce lawyer or therapist, a divorce coach offers a unique selection of services, which can help you navigate the process with increased ease.

When you begin your search for a qualified divorce coach, make sure to check all of their qualifications. In order to take a closer look at your finances, you may want to find a professional who has experience in money management or financial planning. Also consider the training, classes, and certifications they have earned to be divorce coaches.

Assembling a team of the best professionals is critical to success, and you should definitely consider your divorce coach’s qualifications before hiring. By settling for someone who is less than qualified, you could miss out on all the benefits that a divorce coach can offer.

 

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Show” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

 

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Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA

Dallas, Texas

Shawn C. H. Leamon is Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, a firm that helps successful families manage large financial transitions like divorce, inheritance and selling a business.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, double majoring in Economics and Philosophy, and his Masters in Business Administration at Spain’s IE Business School.

Before founding LaGrande Global, Shawn helped manage $1.1 billion in client assets at Bernstein Global Wealth Management. He also worked as a credit research analyst at J.P. Morgan. He is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, and he has been an advisor to numerous high-stakes divorce cases.

Shawn is the author of two well-received finance books: Managing Private Wealth: Principles, and Divorce and Your Money: The No-Nonsense Guide, both published in 2016.

In his spare time, Shawn is an ultra-endurance athlete and has competed in events as long as 24 hours. He is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Alumni Board of Greenhill School.